Initiative from leading tech association CompTIA aims to inspire future technologists
Downers Grove, Ill. – With new research indicating more teenagers are considering careers in information technology (IT), leading tech industry association CompTIA is spotlighting career resources available through its NextUp initiative and other sources.
Seven in ten teenagers say they are open to the possibility of a career in the tech arena, according to the new CompTIA research report “Youth Opinions of Careers in Information Technology.” That’s up from 62 percent in a 2015 CompTIA survey.
But the survey also identifies shortcomings in providing students with comprehensive information to help them make career choice decisions. For example, just 33 percent of boys and 24 percent of girls know someone who works for a tech company or has a job in technology. (For more from the report, please see “Sparked by Girls, Teens Interest in Tech Careers is on the Rise, New CompTIA Research Reveals.”)
“We have the ability to inspire the tech workforce of the future, but we must get to the students,” said Charles Eaton, CompTIA’s executive vice president for social innovation, CEO of Creating IT Futures and author of “How to Launch Your Teen's Career in Technology: A Parent's Guide To The T In STEM Education.”
“NextUp was created to introduce teens to the many possibilities of technology careers. Through curricula, projects, partnerships and mentorship, we aim to tap into their passion for technology, spark their curiosity and build a generation of technologists for tomorrow,” added Eaton. “Our CompTIA volunteers mentor students in hands-on STEM projects, while sharing why they love their careers.”
NextUp works with partner programs that support and enhance existing youth engagement initiatives through curricula, clubs and camps, and inspire and engage teens through mentorship. These partners include:
- FUSE, a Northwestern University program that’s expanding and enriching STEAM (STEM plus Arts & Design) learning, with particular attention to IT concepts and skills for students in middle and high school.
- The New York Academy of Sciences, where CompTIA’s network of IT professionals mentors students attending the academy’s afterschool and summer programs.
- TechGirlz, which offers fun and educational hands-on workshops, called TechShopz, and an annual Entrepreneur Summer Camp, all aimed at getting middle-school age girls interested in different kinds of technology.
- The Technology Student Association (TSA), made up of 250,000 students in 38 states who go head-to-head each spring in a number of STEM team-based competitions.
Visit http://www.creatingitfutures.org/ developing-programs/nextup to learn more about available programs and resources.
Also Available from CompTIA
The CompTIA Association of IT Professionals (AITP) Student Program matches IT students with mentors to help them learn about and prepare for technology careers. Students can get resume support, mentorship, information on career strategies, and more with their free membership.
Dream IT, a program created by CompTIA’s Advancing Women in Technology Community, has reached more than 10,000 people with the message that technology is a great place for women and girls. Materials are available for the U.S., UK, Australia and New Zealand.
CompTIA’s Academy Partner Program provides valuable tools and resources to assist schools in recruiting, training, certifying and upgrading the skills of their students in IT. Some 4,500 secondary schools, colleges, universities, and other organizations across North America that provide technology instruction are CompTIA Academy Partners.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $1.43 trillion U.S. information technology ecosystem; and the more than seven million technology professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the U.S. economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. Visit www.comptia.org to learn more.